TOM ROGIC has had his first glimpse of the challenge he faces if he is to break into the Celtic first team.
And the chances are, it opened the young Aussie's eyes.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was a VIP spectator at Tuesday's friendly victory over Steaua Bucharest before heading to Glasgow with the squad when they returned home last night.
With a £500,000 fee agreed with his club, Central Coast Mariners, it was straight down to discussing personal terms with the Hoops.
The former futsal star is in no doubt he will have to bring not just his A-League game but his A game to Parkhead if he is to continue his meteoric rise to the top.
The job of unlocking tight defences is often handed to Kris Commons, who prefers to think of Rogic not as a new arrival who will threaten his place, but as a player who will enhance the side.
He said of the left-footed locksmith: "I've seen him train once, and it seems like he has plenty of ability. He will probably fit in nicely.
"It's competition not just for me, but Joe Ledley, and it's always nice to have healthy competition because I think it makes you better.
"But I don't think the gaffer would see it as competition, just a team getting better and better.
"With a club like Celtic, there is no point bringing in players who are not good enough to play."
Rami Gershon has already been brought on board, and Rogic is expected to complete his move within 24 hours.
He will require a work permit – his three caps in the last year will assist in making his case – before he is eligible to play.
That means it is unlikely everything can be put in place in time for him to make his debut against Hearts on Saturday.
Gershon was left out of Tuesday's hard-fought win over Steaua as he picked up a slight thigh strain in training. No chances were being taken with Kelvin Wilson and Efe Ambose unavailable this weekend.
James Forrest had hoped to be back in action by now, but the hamstring injury he picked up at Dens Park on Boxing Day – just two games after returning from a similar strain which had kept him out for almost two months – is still proving difficult to shift.
Joe Ledley will be checked to see if there is any reaction to his run out against Steaua, the Welshman's first game for over a month due to a hip condition.
But at least Commons came through the game in Spain without any ill effects, and reports the horrific thigh injury caused by studs from Spartak Moscow's Kim Kallstrom at the start of last month is no longer causing him any problems.